Ear Infections in Children and Chiropractic Care
Many parents know that dealing with painful ear infections at night is not fun. Children scream through an agonizing pain. At least that what my wife and myself have been experiencing the last couple of nights. We were stressed out and our four and half years old boy was even more stressed out. Fortunately our son was breast fed till he was 20 months old and I have to admit that it is a heroic act on my spouse’s behalf. Until recently we did not have any problems with ear infection and pain.
November was a month that our family was traveling a lot all over the country. That means only one thing, lots of time on an airplane full of people who most likely carry some sort of virus or cold infection, eating out and lack of exercises. These three main factors will do some serious damage to an adult’s health but child is taking it to a whole different level. Their fragile immune system has to fight new invaders every day.
Before I go into an explanation of a pain and suffering process of ear infection I would like to explain what it is and what the treatment procedures for such health problem. The ear has two functions – hearing and balance and it consists of three different parts – the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. I am not going to bore you with its function and anatomy, you can simply click on links that I have provided if interested. Kids develop ear infections more frequently in the first 2 to 4 years of their life for several reasons:
- Their eustachian tubes are shorter and more horizontal than those of adults, which allows bacteria and viruses to find their way into the middle ear more easily. Their tubes are also narrower and less stiff, which makes them more prone to blockage.
- The adenoids, which are gland-like structures located in the back of the upper throat near the eustachian tubes, are large in children and can interfere with the opening of the eustachian tubes.
A number of other factors can contribute to kids getting ear infections, such as exposure to cigarette smoke, bottle-feeding, and day-care attendance (that was our case as well in addition to travel). Ear infections also occur more commonly in boys than girls, in kids whose families have a history of ear infections, and during the winter season when upper respiratory tract infections or colds are frequent.
There are several options available for treating middle ear infections in children. One of the most popular is use of antibiotics where child has to take during a course of ten days or so. Sometimes this treatment will not work because it could also be a viral infection. For those children who have chronic infections in some cases, an ear, nose, and throat doctor will suggest surgically inserting tubes (called tympanostomy tubes) in the tympanic membrane. This allows fluid to drain from the middle ear and helps equalize the pressure in the ear because the eustachian tube is unable to.
In our particular case I have adjusted my son’s right occipital region about four nights in a raw. On a fifth night he slept through without any pain at all. It has been about a month since the last episode and so far he did not complain about any ear pain at all. Research showed that 80% of the children who get chiropractic care were free of ear infections for at least six-month period. Maintenance for one or two times of every four to six weeks would be necessary for this result. Chiropractic adjustment mobilizes drainage of the ear in children. Continues drainage of fluids will eliminate the infection and will strengthen the immune system and help the child to recover much faster.